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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
Adrian Klumpes
Be Still

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

December 19, 2006
Although Adrian Klumpes may arm himself with little more than a piano, to describe him as a 'pianist' doesn't paint the full picture. With Be Still, Klumpes presents a handful of piano compositions that take the instrument into the modern technological era, as they are spliced with waveforms and electronically manipulated to take on a life of their own. Be Still, therefore, is the result of a two-stage process, whereby a performance is first captured and then processed.

Despite having been unequivocally twisted and skewed, the piano itself plays a central role throughout Be Still. Opening track, "Cornered", is based upon a simple, yet distinctive minor-key pattern, expanded upon and digitally interfered with. Klumpes - who also makes up part of Australian avant-jazz group Triosk - sends microscopic drones and reversed notes between the speakers with seeming casualness, and the track is duly enhanced from the minimalist classicism that it must have originated from.

The title track presents Klumpes at his least electronically gleamed, whereby his talent as a pianist takes center stage instead. Given its simplicity, the track manages to lighten the tone of the album, before the desolate "Alone" resonates into the frame, whereby Klumpes obscures his piano loops behind a curtain of reverb and delay. "Unrest", then lifts off where "Alone" departs, lifting the mood into a Steve Reich-esque sweep light pulses.

Adrian Klumpes's ability to originate such a familiar sound only marks part of Be Still's appeal. Regardless of its origins, Be Still is a truly hypnotic collection of electro-acoustic pieces both memorable and intriguing. Klumpes's light flickers of sound may not suit each and every listening environment, but won't disappoint those willing to pay it the attention it deserves.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright



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